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Rains fail to dampen Surajkund Mela's spirit of celebration
Friday morning rains could not steal away the charm of Surajkund International Crafts Mela at Faridabad. The Mela opened in full swing and the Mela Administration did tremendously well to ensure that the colour and flavour of the Mela remains intact despite of the persistent rains last night and early morning. The entire Mela area was spruced up and ambience inputs were reinforced. The system of drainage of water was in place and Mela’s gaiety went on uninterrupted.

On Thursday evening, 3 The People, a fusion group, comprising artistes Azeem Ahmed on sitar; Sameer Singh on electronic music and Swaraansh Mishra, the lead vocalist had together put up an exciting show at Natyashala with soulful melodies that were a heady mix of contemporary and traditional music. The audience enjoyed the original compositions of the band. Their melodies chanted praise of Lord Shiva to Ganga ma and moonless night (amavasya).

Surajkund International Crafts Mela showcases some of the most exquisite handlooms with intricate designs and bewitching colours. Handmade fabrics soaked in flamboyant and effervescent colours made by skilful craftspersons promise to adorn the feminism of every women. These heavily designed fabrics are woven, painted and refined painstakingly by the craftspersons. Those visiting the Mela could not resist but buy a few pieces of these saris.

One such distinctive handloom of Andhra Pradesh is the kalamkari saris. At stall no. 133, craftsperson Lakshmi has displayed cotton and silk saris and dupattas with kalamkari—an art of hand painting.

“Kalamkari fabrics are created in seventeen steps, using only natural dyes, with numerous washes. Typically, the motifs capture the essence of temple architecture and scenes from great epics.”

She has brought saris with epics Mahabharata and Ramayana painted on them, which have been sold like hot cakes.

Gadwal saris of Andhra Pradesh at stall no. 622 are famous for their fascinating cotton fabric with heavy silk border and pallu. A complicated journey is involved in making of these silk/cotton saris, their uniqueness lies in their hand woven authenticity.

Tells craftsperson Venu Gopal at this stall, “The traditional technique of weaving the Gadwal saris involves an interlocked- woof art, known as Kupadam, therefore, the Gadwal saris are locally known as Kudapam sari. The fabric of the silk borders is composed of tussar or mulberry silk. The cotton-body are embellished often with silk checks. This fabulous mix of silk and cotton makes for the recent trend.”

His stall was a hot favourite among the visitors, as one could see it customers pouring at this stall throughout the day.

Prerna, a Society for Program in Research, Emancipation & Resurgence for Advancement from Chattisgarh has a stall at the Mela, where they have showcased beautiful hand-painted tribal art saris in pure Tussar silk.

Ricky Singh, Chairman of the Society, tells, “We have saris, stoles and dress material in silk and cotton, which have been intricately hand-painted by artisans residing in remote villages of Bastar. Some of the pieces have been even done by inmates of Jagdalpur central jail.”

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